Lion tapping into property, hospitality business
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Indonesia’s largest privately owned airline, Lion Air, plans to expand its business, entering the property and hospitality sectors by building hotels and malls in several major cities over the next two years.
General Affairs director Edward Sirait said a Lion Hotel with 100 rooms would be launched in the first semester of 2014 in Manado, North Sulawesi. Right next to the hotel, he said, there would be a shopping mall called Lion Plaza.
“We picked Manado for this project because this city will be Lion Air’s new hub in near future. Besides, it is clearly one of the country’s emerging tourist destinations as it offers many attractions for the visitor,” Edward told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
North Sulawesi is a popular destination for divers, particularly Manado and Bunaken Island, which offer some of the best diving in the world. The province is also famous for the Minahasa Highlands where tourist can visit prehistoric above-ground burial sites, volcanoes and hot springs.
After Manado, the company plans to build three star and four star hotels in Surabaya, East Java and Bali.
Edward said Manado would become an important hub in Lion’s business. The company’s full service business, Batik Air, plans to open international routes connecting Manado with big cities in Southeast Asia and East Asia region in 2014. The new routes would link Manado to Manila, Philippines; Seoul, South Korea; and Tokyo, Japan.
The company is currently processing Batik Air’s flight permit (SIUAU) with the Transportation Ministry, and expects to commence flights in March 2013.
Lion Air flies to Manado from Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, and Sorong 14 times a day. The airline also flies to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jeddah from Jakarta daily.
Edward said Lion was considering setting up a subsidiary specializing in travel and tour business thereby creating a more integrated business empire.